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Report: D.C. United making progress on stadium front

United (Getty)

 

By THOMAS FLOYD

After years of false hope and frustration, there finally appears to be legitimate optimism regarding D.C. United's search for a new home in the nation's capital.

According to a draft study commissioned by the Greater Washington Sports Alliance and obtained by The Washington Post, a new stadium at Buzzard Point near Nationals Park would cost at least $157 million to build but could generate $5.5 million to $7.3 million a year in tax revenue for Washington.

The study, compiled by Convention, Sports & Leisure International, envisions a 24,000-seat venue that, in addition to United's 17 league matches, would host 25 to 37 events a year, including international and college games, as well as concerts and community events.

Robert T. Sweeney, president of Convention, Sports & Leisure International, said the club’s effort to build a stadium is "further along than it ever has been in the past" and added that "things are happening in the right places at the right levels behind the scenes."

United owner Will Chang, the team's lone investor for the past three years, has been in discussions with potential new investors as the team moves forward on the stadium front. Erick Thohir, an Indonesian businessman and part-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, is close to buying the majority share, according to The Post.

The news come seven months after MLS sent a survey to supporters in the Baltimore area "to help determine the viability of the market as a potential home of an MLS Club." In late 2010, the Maryland Stadium Authority conducted a study that explored building a 25,000-seat stadium for United at the Westport Waterfront property in Baltimore near Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium.

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What do you think of this latest development regarding United's search for a stadium? Does it seem like the pieces are finally falling into place? Or should D.C. fans save their celebrations until the ground is broken?

Share your thoughts below.

44 comments
  • drew11

    Another study. LOL. United needs to ditch the district and the hipster supporters demanding a stadium next to the metro.

    Racial politics are the reason there has been no new stadium. Unfortunately, soccer is seen as a Hispanic sport by DC power brokers and they are not inclined to prioritize a soccer stadium. Those issues are not going to go away anytime soon.

    Like

  • VAMOS UNITED

    As a supporter for DC United, I’m not gonna get my hopes up until that stadium is opened for the very first match. With the way DC doesn’t really support United like they have in years past, I’m not gonna get excited for something when the move to Baltimore looks more prominent right now.

    Like

  • elgringorico

    Fantastic news to brighten up a dreary Monday. That area of DC has completely blown up since the Nats stadium went in. Bars and restaurants open every week, major corporations are opening offices and people are moving in. This would be great…even if it does take another 5 years to complete😉

    Like

  • bryan

    yes, this is right in the city next to Nationals Stadium. two metro stops in the direct vicinity, one of which would be a block away.

    Like

  • elgringorico

    What’s your proposal? Move the team to VA or MD and lose ALL the current fans? A stadium next to Nats stadium would attract all the suburbanites because they are already familiar with the neighborhood. The issue was never race politics it’s always been $$. I really don’t understand the point of your comment.

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  • Cliff

    This would be a great location for a stadium, but I really don’t see what’s wrong with building the stadium in NoVA. I’m certain most of DCU’s fans live in NoVA and it’s not like there won’t be a good social/bar scene nearby. Plus, most people are catching the metro in these areas anyway.

    If DC doesn’t want to help build a new stadium, I’d say F it and build in Alexandria or Arlington. There’s LOTS of money in the “DMV” region, so there’s no reason this shouldn’t get done.

    Like

  • Drew

    Ives – Curious why you no longer refer to Goff by name. Was there a falling out?

    Like

  • Cavan

    You don’t build anything in Virginia. The state refuses to do anything at all, and even going so far to interfere in local zoning decisions. It’s the most NIMBY-friendly place in the universe. If Jack Kent Cooke couldn’t build in Virginia in the 1990’s, no one will.

    Also, you’re incorrect about the fanbase. It’s about 50% Virginian with the other 50% being DC and Maryland.

    Want to say anything else from your gut without knowing a whiff of the past 15 years of background?

    Like

  • Josh

    Another RBNY fan who fervently hopes the DC powers-that-be come together and make this happen. DC’s long-suffering fanbase deserves it more than anybody.

    Like

  • curmudgeon

    It reads as something hopeful. But so have lots of other such stories over the years. Best to just say “LALALALALA” and ignore it until bricks start being laid. The crushing pain will be less that way.

    Like

  • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original

    Nothing better than a new SSS. Every team needs one. And they all should have real grass. But that’s another story.

    Like

  • jake

    I’m not sure how you define “direct vicinity”.
    The proposed spot would be past Nationals Park. Not a long walk, but not a block away and there isn’t a second metro anywhere nearby that I know of.

    Like

  • jake

    I live in Arlington. I don’t know where it would go and wherever you could find space… the roads wouldn’t support it well. As much as I’d like to be able to walk/bike/bus to the stadium in mere minutes, its not happening.

    Like

  • TimChapman

    1) This article wasn’t written by Ives. 2) The Washington Post article wasn’t written by Goff

    Like

  • KevDC

    It’s rare that I feel positive vibes toward NYRB supporters..but thanks, Josh and john.q. I was happy for you guys, too, when you got your beautiful stadium. Good for our rivalry. Good for MLS.

    Fingers crossed here in DC.

    Like

  • drew11

    Either you support the club or you don’t. Support shouldn’t have anything to do with where the stadium is physically located in the region. I am all in on any stadium deal United can make.

    The lack of a new stadium after nearly 20 years is absolutely about racial politics in DC. It hasn’t been a political priority because soccer is wrongly perceived as being as being a Hispanic sport.

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  • KevDC

    So it’s “hipster supporters demanding a stadium next to the metro”? I’ll toss that LOL back at ya.

    The evidence is overwhelming across MLS that urban stadium do better than those in the burbs.

    Clueless comment. The main issues have always been money and available real estate in a highly developed urban area.

    Like

  • KevDC

    As a supporter since ’96 I share your cynicism, but I’d say you can get your hopes up when they actually break ground on the project (not that that is close to happening, either).

    Like

  • tacklebreaker

    I’ll believe it when I’m standing in line buying a ridiculously over priced beer in the new stadium.

    Like

  • USAalltheeWAY

    Waterfront SW is used by a lot of Nats fans rather than Navy Yard. About a 5-6 block walk up M St.

    Easy walk believe me – I used to live on Half St SW before I moved to Clarendon.

    Like

  • fischy

    Right next to the Nationals stadium, but almost a mile to the proposed site of the DCU stadium. Depending on how you measure — at least 3/4 of a mile. However, there are plans on the drawing board to run light-rail just past the proposed stadium site — no more than a block away…if it ever gets built.

    Like

  • fischy

    Another fatuous remark from an uninformed yahoo.

    Racial politics has nothing to do with it. Which is not to say that Hispanics are represented in DC’s power structure. They’re not, but that has flack-all to do with the stadium issue.

    Like

  • Tyler

    Read the post about the difficulties we are having building the Silver Line in the Dulles area. That should give you all the information you need as to why we would never be able to have a stadium in NoVa, although, it’s nice to dream.

    Like

  • fischy

    The proposed site is about equidistant from both Metro stops. A mile away either way. Not sure why bryan thinks there’s a Metro a block away.

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  • Tyler

    And by “post” I’m assuming that everyone knows I’m referring to the Washington Post, but I had to clarify just in case..

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  • fischy

    Yes and no. The article in the Capital Business section of hte Post was not written by GOff. THe information about Thohir does come from Goff’s reporting.

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  • fischy

    Let’s hope there’s a better beer selection. I’m not optimistic there. Even Nationals Park doesn’t have anything like the wonderful beer selections they had when the stadium first opened.

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  • fischy

    DC has a HUGE advantage over NoVA in getting public financing. The District doesn’t have all those Republicans trying to pander to Tea Partiers.

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  • Tyler

    That will be the best beers I’ve ever purchased. On that day I will gladly shell out the $8 or $9.

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  • DCUpedro

    No, but we’re basically governed by a tea party congress.

    You’d be surprised how little autonomy the residents of this city have to govern our own affairs. It is maddening, but basically the entire concept of home rule is a battle that gets fought every day.

    Therefore, DC is a very budget austere city at the moment. We are making the right moves however to get this done. Linking it with the Nats stadium is very shrewd, as the city is now seeing solid returns from that development/investment. And doing this behind closed doors is even smarter.

    Like

  • Nate Dollars

    Kev, as a DC resident, I’m not sure why you’d be even that hopeful.

    I agree with Vamos: won’t believe it until they open the new stadium.

    Like

  • adam

    Better than the current setup from Stadium-Armory, no? Substantial downside in tailgating potential, and pitfalls in having games fall on the same day as Nationals games, though. Metro isn’t known for handling game traffic smoothly…

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  • eddie

    Great news, but this has to come into existence, come into being a reality.

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  • Edwin in LA

    As Galaxy and USMNT and avid MLS fan….I PRAY that this tagets DONE, and hopefully before this year ends…that way by the time Brazil 2014 takes place and it is time for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement most MLS teams will have either their own SSS or Stadium adequate for the sport that they own or have the ability to be profitable like Seattle owns Qwest and fills a big majority of it and Vancouver plays in a decent plays that adapts well until they get THEIR waterfront stadium…specific to the sport of course. I think once DC gets on board it will be VERY hard for the Krafts to keep the team or NOT get a stadium going with ALL THE DAMN MONEY THEY HAVE….I mean San Jose will have one by the start of 2014 MLS season or at worst midway thru it by the time World Cup comes the way PPL opened up during South Africa 2010

    Like

  • kris77

    You either support them or you don’t? Location shouldn’t matter at all? You are wrong on both fronts. There are the die-hard supporters, “i come to 5-10 games a year or I come to one a year. Location is EVERYTHING. I live in Gainesville, VA. That is already about an hour drive to RFK. If they move to Baltimore, that would be a 2-3 hour drive depending on the time of day. Location around here is EVERYTHING. If they go to Baltimore, I go to 5 games a year as oppose to all the games like I do now.

    Like

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